Community Issues SL Course

June 21, 2016

Course Description and Objectives

The course will draw from students’ collective learning experiences in their community-based service learning. Core concepts about democracy in America, the land-grant university’s historic mission, and about how everyday citizens collectively can build a strong democracy will be introduced. Students will also be introduced to the range of ways that citizens participate in democratic decision-making and will practice some of these forms. The course is based on the reciprocal relationship between practice in the community and readings, reflections, and exercises in class. Assignments ask you to reflect on your community-based practice and apply concepts in the readings and discussions in class in your reflections. N.B. In the syllabus, CBO refers to community-based organization, the group with whom you engage in your service-learning experience. For some classes, graduate students in the PhD program in Civil Society and Community Research will be guest lecturing and facilitating the class discussion.

Course Objectives

After participating in this class, students will be able to:

– Articulate the role that various (CBOs) community based organizations (including the one in which they are volunteering for their service learning) play in Civil Society

– Define Civil Society and its relationship to government

– Articulate the roles that CBOs play in a democratic society

– Describe ways that CBOs reframe what we may consider private issues into public concerns

– Understand the role of CBOs as free spaces for changing democracy

– Challenge myths about public life and understand collective power

– Be more aware of public issues, policies, and current events that impact them and others

– Articulate the role(s) of nonprofit organizations in civil society in both compensating for and challenging the private (market) and public (government) sectors

– Understand ways that individuals can act on their personal values via engaging with the collective goals and actions of organizations

See below for full syllabus:

Civics, Community Issues SL – University of Wisconsin-Madison 2015

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